“I was not hungry, I was very hungry. I stole many bikes. I also stole cars. That was how we got by. We did those things on adrenaline, motivation. I came from Rosengard. In Sweden it’s considered a ghetto, but for me it was paradise.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his childhood
“I didn’t sign Mario Balotelli as a political statement. I signed him because he scored two goals against Germany and made them cry.”
"Has he deliberately chosen a league I am not involved in? I don't know. What is certain is that I will not manage in Germany.”
“The way Ronaldo plays, he's the best all-round player in the world. He is a benchmark for every player who wants to be that good, and it's useful to look at other players, watch how they do things and take my game to another level. Look at the way he takes free-kicks – he scores a lot of goals from them. He is obviously doing something right and he is on another level. Can I get there? One day.”
"I won't receive any salary. My salary will go to a local children's charity in Paris. It's something exciting and something I'm not sure has been done before. It's a very good figure. That's one thing we're very excited about: to be able to give a huge sum to a children's charity in Paris. It's very special."
David Beckham after joining Paris Saint-Germain
"Coaching Real Madrid is one of the three things I would never do in football. The other two would be throwing a game and promoting doping."
"Mourinho is extraordinary. I worked with Wenger, Deschamps, Mancini – great managers – but I’ve never known anyone like him. If you dress poorly, he mocks you for days! Then he’ll buy you a drink, and you’ll think he’s now your best friend. But if you make a mistake, he’ll kill you! Once I got man of the match. He called me and said, 'Manu, you were amazing.’ I am full of confidence, I take the ball, I juggle when he wanted us to run. Boom! I feel like a child. He killed me in front of everybody. In the afternoon he called me again and said, 'You played a great game yesterday, but yesterday was yesterday and tomorrow will be another game.'”
Emmanuel Adebayor on Jose Mourinho
“I have to give great credit to Joachim Low. He has developed this team and their football is worth seeing and can be successful. The Germans watching today, they have not seen such attractive football for a long time. We absolutely have the quality to win the World Cup. Spain are still in the way, but one point they will lose and we must capitalise.”
"I was almost considered to be a God after I had helped the club stay in Ligue 1 with so few resources. Last summer, in Nancy, I was Guardiola, Mourinho and Ferguson rolled into one. But the ones who kissed me in May knifed me in the back in December."
“I’ve told my father a thousand times to stop driving taxis, but there’s no way [he will listen]. It’s really impressive the effort my parents made to enable their three children to become footballers. I remember my mother washing three sacks full of muddy [kit], boots. Now it’s time for them to enjoy themselves, they have already worked very hard for us.”
Alvaro Negredo, whose older brothers Cesar and Ruben are also professionals in the Spanish lower leagues